Artists: Luke Loporto
What year did you start tattooing: 2009-01-01
Do you have any special training: I have a BFA in painting, with a minor in art history from the Alfred University School of Art and Design. I dropped out after my third semester to take advantage of an apprenticeship opportunity that came up. I spent a year apprenticing, then tattooed as a full artist for about a year and a half. Me and my mentor both felt that my finishing my art degree would really benefit me. So i ended up moving back upstate, where I opened a small custom shop, and finished up my schooling.
Conventions usually worked: Although i've attended dozens, I've only tattooed at one convention, the United Ink expo in 2012. Me and the rest of the artists at Timmy's will be working that convention again this year.
Where did you apprentice?: I apprenticed under Chuck Bondo. I owe everything, and am forever grateful to him for mentoring me.
What tattoo artist do you most admire: Its actually pretty crazy... When I was like 13, my brother started getting tattooed by Dylan Schreifels, aka "Tattoo Dylan". Within about two years he had both of his arms sleeved with absolutely brilliant work. I kept up with Dylan's work ever since. I now have the honor of tattooing in the same shop as him. I am constantly in awe, and inspired by every piece he does.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?: I've been lucky enough to aways work with tattooers who believe in integrity over money. I sleep like a fucking baby at night knowing I'm putting good work out there. So if you want something stupid, I'll either say no, or talk you out of it. Other than that, I always try to get people to think a few steps ahead, preserve the "prime real-estate" area for big work.
How did you get into tattooing: Keeping up with Dylans work Definitely peaked my interest in the medium, but i think the biggest attraction to it was the fact that I could get my "creative fix" while making a good living. I am a painter. I really consider myself a painter who happens to know how to tattoo. I guess for me, its a way to support myself off my art without having to fill out a million grant applications or constantly fight for gallery space.
What inspires you to be an artist: I dont really know, Its just something I have to do. I am definitely inspired by things, it's hard not to be; I have two eyes, and two ears. I guess for me its like i don't really have an option as to how I use it. I have a buildup of creative energy that I constantly need to do something with. Sometimes I get it out with tattooing, sometimes with painting, sometimes with tinkering with old TV's in my garage.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing: I keep on trying to find a "Niche" that would fit into, but i really just enjoy challenging myself, or maybe punishing myself?.... i don't know. but its pretty cool that i've sort of reached a point where people trust my work, my design, and my judgement over a piece, and I usually really get to run with an idea once its given to me. But I guess I tend to steer towards large-scale pieces that are inspired by photographs.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do: There are a bunch of things I have been itching to tattoo posted up on my facebook page, in my "Sh*& I want to do" album!